During its prime in the late 1960s and early 1970s, KHJ occupied the top position among Los Angeles radio stations, but by 1980 the numbers had eroded, and management decided to flip to a country format… which flopped. On April 1, 1983, KHJ switched to an oldies format, proclaiming “The Boss is Back” which also flopped. In 1984, the KHJ braintrust, lead by radio consultant Walt Sabo, had a new idea which they thought could bring listeners back to KHJ. KHJ became “Car Radio 93“, a top-40 variant targeted to commuters, featuring traffic reports every ten minutes. The format was designed to win over freeway drivers who wanted to know what traffic jams to avoid at the same time they wanted to hear the top hits of the day. Car Radio never caught on, though, and the plug was to be pulled. On the evening of January 31, 1986, “Car Radio” DJ Dave Sebastian Williams was joined in the studio by Robert W. Morgan. Participants in KHJ‘s Boss Radio heyday (DJs M.G. Kelly, Bobby Ocean, and Jimmy Rabbitt, and program director Ron Jacobs) phoned in for a farewell broadcast, playing the songs which had made KHJ a popular AM station in the 1960s and 1970s. The last song played on KHJ was Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley & His Comets. On February 1 at midnight, the station adopted new call letters KRTH to match those of its FM sister station and a format known as “Smokin’ Oldies”, featuring hits from the 1950s & early 60s.
This aircheck from Car Radio 93 featured Kim Amidon. (Kim is standing under the “KHJ” in the photo.) Kim joined KOST 103 about a year after this to host mornings with Mark Wallengren for the long running Mark & Kim show.
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From the Ellis B Feaster You Tube Radio Aircheck & Classic TV Channel.
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